Porto Alegre, Brazil: Fifteenth anniversary of the World Social Forum


An article by Suzy Scarton, Jornal do Comércio

From 19 to 23 January next year, Porto Alegre will host the 2016 Thematic Social Forum (TSF) which aims to address challenges and perspectives under the theme “another world is possible .” In addition to taking stock of the actions taken in the last decade and a half the event also celebrates the 15th anniversary of the first World Social Forum that was held in Porto Alegre in 2001. The opening march will be held on January 19, at 15h, from Glênio Peres.

Jonathan Heckler/JC

Topics of the meeting include the crisis of capitalism, domestic and international political context, youth participation, culture of peace, racism, Latin American integration, activism and how to combat xenophobia and homophobia. Mayor Jose Fortunati reaffirmed the importance of the event to consolidate ideas that can change the world. “Just changing the current system is enough to allow us to move forward,” he said yesterday to the social and trade union leaders who are organizing the event. He reiterated that the city will contribute to the organizational and structural support.

The activities will be carried out mainly in the old Gasometer factory, at the City Council, in the Park of Redenção, at the Legislative Assembly and in the plaza Zumbi dos Palmares. The Deputy Municipal Secretary for Local Government, Carlos Siegle added that while the guidelines have changed in the space of 15 years, “we need to reflect for a profound debate on the role of the citizen.”

Registration to participate in the forum is now open and can be made on the site www.forumsocialportoalegre.org.br.

The first forum in 2001 was considered a novelty in the international arena by its coordination capacity in the anti-capitalist struggle as well as for its radical policy proposals regarding social, economic and environmental issues. Among the guests this year will be former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva , former Uruguayan President Pepe Mujica, the writer and sociologist Manuel Castells Spanish, the Brazilian activist against violence to women Maria da Penha and the Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace laureate Malala Yousafzai.

(Click here for the original version in Portuguese.


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